Educator Institute

The Educator Institute immerses participants in the Humanities Center’s proven approach to increase student engagement through absent narratives—those voices often left out or marginalized. This experience prepares Minnesota educators to develop meaningful connections with their students and implement practical classroom strategies to bring absent narratives pedagogy into practice. Participants will come away with:

  • Broadened worldviews
  • Strengthened relationships and shared vision among colleagues
  • A network of educators committed to relationship-based educational change
  • A self-designed Action Plan for bringing absent narratives into the classroom

The Opportunity

The third annual Educator Institute will take place June 25–30, 2017, at the Humanities Center in St. Paul. For up to 40 educators, this intensive weeklong workshop will include:
  • Extensive opportunities to learn from and with other educators and community scholars
  • Immersive experiences that connect participants with absent narratives of Minnesota and the communities that call this place home
  • Discussion that challenges assumptions to build stronger relationships for student engagement and achievement
  • A practical introduction to absent narratives strategies, resources, and classroom materials available through the Humanities Center

In the year following the Institute, participants will have access to content and capacity building workshops and webinars, joining the growing network of past Institute cohorts across Minnesota committed to relationship-based educational change.

2016-17 activities include: Go Deeper webinars, participant reunion, Increase Engagement Through Absent Narratives, Bdote Field Trip, Humanities Center events and online courses, Absent Narratives Resources and resource presentations, personalized support, Why Treaties Matter traveling exhibition, and Facebook group.

The Educator Institute provides... 

  • rigorous, relevant K–12 professional development
  • access to educators and community scholars
  • a field trip examining Dakota narratives in Minnesota
  • classroom materials and resources
  • all meals, plus lodging for those outside the Metro area
  • certificate for 45+ clock hours
  • a $3,100 value for $300.

We also anticipate that graduate credit will be available through Metropolitan State University School of Urban Education at an additional cost.

The Cost

In recognition of the time and energy educators will bring to the Educator Institute, the Humanities Center is pleased to offer a scholarship to all accepted participants. This is made possible thanks to generous funding from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The only cost to participants will be a $300 registration fee. If this cost is a barrier to participation, additional scholarships may be awarded.

Educator Institute and year-round support activities and resources valued at over $3,100.

Ready to Participate?

2017 Educator Institute
Dates: Sunday, June 25 - Friday, June 30, 2017
Location: Minnesota Humanities Center, 987 Ivy Ave E, St. Paul, MN 55106
Cost: $300 per person non-refundable registration fee, due upon acceptance

Application deadline: March 31, 2017
Participants notified of acceptance by: April 19, 2017
Registration fee due date: May 3, 2017

Information Sessions

An information session via webinar was held on March 1. To listen to the recording, visit

Questions? Contact Eden Bart:

Go Deeper: Absent Narratives Concepts in Theory & Practice

These sessions offer participants an opportunity to return to concepts and ideas introduced during the Educator Institute. Scholars will guide deeper engagement with their content offerings, while providing time for cohorts to work together and share in communities of practice. Sessions may include topics like Mnisota, a Dakota Place; Ways of Knowing and Being; Narrative Strategies; and Absent from What? 

Each session is offered 4:30-6:00 p.m. in a webinar format. Participants may sign up for one or multiple sessions. Clock hours are available upon request.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 | Absent from What?

In this session, participants will examine how dominant culture reinforces some identities in public while rendering others invisible. The session will also identify features of the American dominant culture: where it resides, how it functions, and what is at stake in maintaining or challenging the status quo. Martin Case will present and lead a discussion that invites participants to reflect on master narratives and consider how to include and value absent narratives in schools and public settings

Thursday, April 27, 2017 | A Good Time for the Truth with Sun Yung Shin

This session will focus on the urgency of working in concrete ways to dismantle structural and systemic racism. Editor, author, poet, and educator Sun Yung Shin will use essays in the anthology A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota (2016, Minnesota Historical Society Press) as jumping off points for participants to do their own reflective writing during the session. The goal of this writing is for participants to deepen their understanding about their own experience of race and uncover meaningful possibilities for moving forward in their work for racial justice.


Program Questions: Sung Ja Shin, 651-772-4255,

Background on the Minnesota Humanities Center Education Strategy

The Humanities Center’s Education Strategy is at work in Minnesota and has proven results that address contemporary issues in education from a humanities foundation. It is based on the reality that relationships are fundamental to learning and exist within cultures. This empowers educators to build relationships with students and communities to increase student engagement. The Education Strategy helps educators, students, and parents create success by closing the relationship gap that undercuts efforts to eliminate disparities in academic achievement. The Educator Institute is a foundational component of the Education Strategy.